Mr. Speaker, the whir of skate gliding across the ice transfixes spectators at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. Competing on the ice is Olympic speed skater, Texan, and Houston native, Jonathan Garcia.

Jonathan has been speed skating since he was 7 years old. His love for skating began when he witnessed Dan Jansen win the speed skating gold medal at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

Ever since that time, Jonathan has passionately competed in speed skating and has enjoyed years of success. Jonathan did not immediately begin speed skating at the ripe old age of 7, as one would assume.

He first competed in roller speed skating for 14 years, before switching to speed skating in 2007. His goal was to compete in the Winter Olympic Games, and that wouldn’t be possible as a roller speed skater.

Jonathan, being the determined and motivated person he is, quickly took up speed skating and began competing in major competitions throughout the country. Jonathan’s first major achievement came during the 2011 to 2012 Short Track U.S. Time Trials where he earned the gold medal in the 1000 meters. 

After that, Jonathan’s career absolutely skyrocketed. He has competed in the World Championships consistently for the past 7 years, even placing in every event he skated in.

Perhaps most impressively, Jonathan has qualified for and competed in the past two Winter Olympics. He placed 28th overall in the 1000 meters at the 2014 So chi Olympic Winter Games.

In this year’s 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Jonathan finished 23rd in the 500 meters. He was also second among the three U.S. entries to compete in the speed skating competition.

We are beyond thrilled to have a hometown hero representing Team USA and his town of Katy, Texas. Jonathan’s determination to succeed and his passion for speed skating will no doubt inspire a younger generation to compete and achieve their wildest dreams. 

And that is just the way it is.